His voice was like silk.
It could move you through the confines of your world without even trying. Every breath, every sigh was like a longing that came from a faraway place. His hypnotic, serene, and at times erotic overtones crooned across the audience moaning and groaning when it afforded him. Even in the cold darkness, he crept up upon you when you were alone in your bedroom at night. He could find you in the car when you were on that long stretch of highway in the early morning twilight just before dawn. He was there, watching and waiting, just for you and no one else. He wants you for himself, and all he did was read the sentence in front of him to listen. You bend at will giving him your undivided attention, and every phrase made deliberately to invite you in for more. He could tear you away from your hiding place and drag you kicking and screaming for more. Yet, these were not words of a man reciting poetry. These were stories read to you to arouse fears from the unconscious mind into the open. These were tales of murder, ghosts, and all forms of human decay and evil. Like a skull cracked in half spilling out the red from within, he would get it out of you, those fears, those desires, and evil deeds. Then, as though he only wanted you to give him what he craves, he just fades back into the darkness from whence he came.
At least that is what the latest issue of a well-known online magazine had written about my now nationally syndicated podcast. I think it was pretty kind of them, making me sound so dark and mysterious. I could die soon and be happy. I had satisfied so many ears with my languid tones and perpetual lust for life and well death. All the intricate little pieces of our existence wrapped up into this flesh, bone, and life force on a constant drip. That life force is big business in horror, and trust me, I have known my share of it as I lie here dying. I will share my tale of horror of how I landed here if you care to listen.
In a period of loneliness, I started writing horror fiction for fun what most now refer to as Creepypasta, and I did it long before it became cool to write those stories. I was writing them and submitting them to magazines under random fake names. When the narration phase began, I thought that it was cool. I was one of those cocky jock types, and I enjoyed this idea of being someone different than who everyone knew as just the college football player. So, I began my storytelling, deciding to start my online podcast, and every Sunday evening after dark, I read tales of the macabre. At first, to a small audience, which grew over the years, and I can now boast over a few million fans. It was called Solomon’s Creepy Vault of Terrors, and I ended it the same way each week.
“That’s all, for now, my children, thank you again for listening. And as always, don’t forget to lock your doors, lock your windows, shut your blinds and close your closet doors. You just never know who may be watching and waiting in the shadows. Till next time this has been another tale of fear from Solomon’s Creepy Vault of Terrors.” Everyone figured my name must be Solomon, but nothing is really as it seems. I had always liked Solomon’s name because it had this non-threatening aura about it, and it made it all the more sinister.
My family and friends knew me as Pete from Poughkeepsie. Yes, that is right. My name is Peter. Nothing is ever what it seems, and you should remember that because it is one of life’s harshest lessons. I always had the notion I would have been an actor because I was told I was very good looking, the all American pretty boy type dark blonde hair and bright blue eyes and tight physique. I could have even been a writer with my wild imagination for spinning tales, but in college, I quickly discovered that there wasn’t real money in any of that. I was good with numbers, so I got a job at a brokerage firm south of Cleveland, and that is how I decided to make my living, which I enjoyed because I made a lot of money. I had moved to Cleveland with my girlfriend, Beth because she was attending College at Cleveland State University for her Masters in Social Work. It wasn’t long before we realized I wasn’t right for her. I mean, it is hard to love a guy when you are more attracted to women. I guess college is a weird time for a lot of girls.
So, at the ripe old age of 26, I was single and dating very little. I was also bored, and it was the first time in nearly five years that my podcast had sort of taken a downward spiral. The stories just weren’t good anymore. I had been getting submissions, and soon I had run out of good stories. There was no shortage of hateful comments on my website, and I had even started allowing my fans to donate money to me to let my site go on. I’d narrate one of their stories for a particular amount, and honestly, there were some good ones. However, the people who paid the most to have me read their stuff were always bad writers and even worse storytellers. To make them feel special, I would send them little gifts, such as postcards with my signature, in the mail from my P.O. Box. I hoped with this newly found focus would come better stories. It worked for a while, then again, things had also become very competitive. It seemed like every day, a new narrator was popping up, and I had to keep up or else lose my fans. Why should it even matter? In truth, it didn’t, but, being as reclusive I had become, my fans gave me a reason to get up in the morning. It didn’t matter. They had no idea who I was or even what I looked like. I guess we all wear our masks, eh?
To top it off, I had started becoming more stressed at work. My boss became more and more of an asshole. The only thing that kept me there was a growing friendship I had with a girl named Kim. She was gorgeous in one of those soap opera ways with her hair and make-up done like a movie star. She had long light red hair, green eyes, and traces of freckles along with her nose and cheeks. Don’t get me started on her legs when she walked in a stilettos pair – she was hell on heels. To be honest, she made me a little crazy, and I guess you could say I had a secret crush. I thought of asking her out a million times, but what if it ended badly? I worked with her, and that could lead to some seriously uncomfortable working conditions.
After a particularly stressful Tuesday at work, I was invited to grab a few drinks with the other guys from the firm. One drink leads to another, and I was feeling pretty good. The guys left, but I stayed on a bit longer just for one more beer. I lost track of how many drinks I had. I didn’t feel drunk when I sat in the car and put my keys in the ignition. I sat and closed my eyes for a moment. I could feel the dizziness beginning, and I leaned my head on my hands. Maybe if I just rested a few moments. No, I had to keep on going, because I was in the condition to make intelligent life choices.
You always feel invincible after a few drinks, and I sped off keeping one eye open and one closed to follow the lines on the road. The road I chose to go home one was a lonely stretch of road covered on both sides with deep dark woods and tall grass in an isolated area not far from the bar district I had just left. There were no signs of civilized life, and I noticed something brown and grey in the distance just off to the right side of the road. It appeared to be something that looked like an animal. I kept going not to give a care in the world if it was or how fast I was now going. I tried to swerve around it but ended up hitting something even though I didn’t think I was going very fast. It flashed past me banging and making this strange crunching sound something flew past my hood and then I felt a thud. I slammed on my brakes, all in what seemed an eternity was only a few seconds. I was wide awake now.
I had been driving through an area known to have once been an actual town until the national park service bought up the houses and designated the city as part of the Cuyahoga Valley national park. There were no longer people living in the homes to run to for help. All the houses belonged to the National park. It had been several years since anyone had lived in the shells of the previous occupants. The homes were dark and desolate, and I quickly realized there was no one to help me if I needed it. I slowly got out of my vehicle, car running, and headlights on so I could see. I walked over to the side of the car and realized that something had spilled all over the hood. What was this a can of paint or something? There was so much of the dark liquid it covered almost the whole front right part of the windshield and hood. I heard a sound of something that echoed the sound of a dripping faucet.
When I walked around the back of the car, that is when my annoyance turned to terror. I thought I knew terror and could evoke it with a flick of my pinky finger. I could strike fear with my stories, but nothing prepares you for realizing you have just come face to face with life in HD terror. I panicked, not understanding the enormity at first. A man’s body lying about 30 feet behind my vehicle just sprawled out half into the stretch of road and into the tall grass that lined the side of it, I thought maybe he was okay? Perhaps I could call an ambulance and get him help I rationalized.
Only when I saw his body did I see the full magnitude of what I had done to this man. His head was no longer fully attached to his body, and he had only a small amount of tissue connecting his head to his neck. I vomited on the spot.
The sound that mimicked a dripping faucet had been the blood sliding down my front windshield down the right side and dripping off the rearview mirror onto the puddle of blood that matched it on the ground beneath it. I will spare you any further details. Let’s just say it was terrible.
I was too scared to call the cops at this point. Fear or something took over, and I was in freak out mode. I have no idea what made me do it, but I remembered I had a shovel in the trunk of my car and dragged this man’s remains to the side of the road. I had to act quickly, so I found a spot near the road which was still obscured by some trees, and I dug the most bottomless hole using the flashlight on my cell phone to light my way. I was tired and sick, but I dug and dug till I figured if it was deep enough that no animals would dig it back up. I tried to get as much blood off my windshield as I could standing there in the dark. Lucky for me, there was little blood on the road; most of it was on the hood of my car and in the grass. Part of you is probably wondering why I had buried him. I don’t know honestly except that I had the urge to hide it as though it never happened.
Later that night, when I arrived home, I cleaned my car until it was spotless and threw away my suit. I wanted to forget that this night ever happened. I collapsed into my bed and fell into a deep sleep. The next day I kept thinking it was all a bad dream, and I half expected the cops to come and arrest me at work.
A few days turned to weeks, and I checked the missing person info and looked for any information in the newspaper to see if someone matching the man’s description was listed. I checked it every day for two months, and then one day, I stopped. It was apparent there wasn’t anyone to come looking for this guy. Slowly, I stopped caring about it and went on with my life. I moved on as best I could and turned to my fans and my podcast for comfort. Eventually, I began to feel like my old self, and I wanted my life to feel as normal as possible. I continued my work and my stories as usual, but something slowly began to happen.
Reading the stories aloud one evening, live on air, I slowly felt the air go out of my passion because it was apparent the podcast had grown stale. I even noticed in my live chat that my many fans had seemingly grown bored of the stories. The stories that I received didn’t have anything new to offer in the ways of an exciting plot. It felt like every story was recycled and copied from those that had already been done. They had grown bored of me, and the stories didn’t feel fresh anymore. That is when I suddenly had an epiphany. Maybe I should tell my own true horror story. Yeah, I know what you are thinking. What if someone figured it out? It would be under a fake submission name just to be safe. In that second, a new alias was born. He would become quite an influence in the months to come; only I had no idea then how much.
“So, everyone, I don’t want you to go away tonight empty-handed. I see you there, Focker234. I know what you are craving. Yes, bluegirl20. I see you there too, and I have just the story for you. You are an angel, and you deserve no less. Now let me tell you the story I have been saving for last. This is a new writer who was a little shy to submit his story, but now he is finally ready to tell it. He recently submitted a gruesome tale for you all that I know you are going to love. He goes by the user name-” I paused for a second trying to think of the perfect name, and then it hit me. “The Woodsman.”
I began my story about a man who was out for a walk and gets hit by a car. However, instead of dying, he is buried alive by the man who kills him. It was brilliant, and they all loved it. I spun that tale with the first-person knowledge of the blood splatter, and the way it flew up onto the car, no one could have told a better story. I was back at the top by morning.
It went smoothly for the next few weeks, and it wasn’t long though before even that got tiresome. I tried to find great stories, but it was the Woodsman they wanted. How could I recreate another tale? I couldn’t just go around looking for crimes, could I? It wasn’t until I hit upon another stroke of luck while out shopping at the local Walmart. You see, one of the things I hate most is shopping at Walmart. I mean, I loathe it. I only go there on occasion for fish food. I own these stupid cichlids, and they eat these tropical flakes, and Walmart carries the flakes dirt cheap. So, as I was walking, I see this woman with her two small children. She was okay, not hot or anything, I mean who is at Walmart? She was just walking to her car when this drunk guy jumps out and yells at her.
“Get the hell in the car, Amy! What took you so damn long, anyhow?” I see him pull her in and toss the kids in the back, no car seat. It made me mad, to be honest, and I decided to follow them. The guy pissed me off the way he was treating them. I had never done anything like this before in my life yet, I found myself wanting to hurt this guy, and I didn’t even know him. When I saw where they lived, I felt even more sorry for those kids. To say it was filthy is an understatement. I found myself pulling in their driveway, and I stopped, got out, and grabbed a ball bat from my trunk. I felt like I was in a trance of some sort. I felt possessed, and then I heard crying, and I saw those poor kids fearful for their lives. I just wanted to kick this guys ass. You could tell this was typical life for them, and I felt absolute anger rush through me. I banged on the door.
“Who the hell is at the door?” I could hear the man yelling.
“I don’t know!” I heard a woman’s voice say.
They were making sounds, and I was afraid suddenly. They would see my face! I was too stupid to think things through. I didn’t even have a mask or a hoodie to keep myself covered, and what made it worse was parked in their driveway in the open. I ran away from the door and back to my car, pealing out of the driveway. What the hell was I thinking? Then the dark thought came to me. It was almost as though I could see The Woodsman speaking to me telling me I could wait it out. I could wait for him. For the rest of the night, I waited for this piece of garbage. I had parked towards the end of their long drive. There were few homes, and I hid my car where no one could see it in the stacks of deadwood and brush that went along their house. I saw him eventually come out of his house. He stumbled to a seat on his porch and sat down. It was my chance to pounce on him, and it was now or never.
I managed to go unnoticed and, in one swoop, grabbed him and pulled his drunk ass into the woods near the back of his house. He was completely unaware of what waited for him in the dark. With one swing of the bat, I had bashed in his skull. What was one more waist of human consumption? I hit him again until blood-splattered, splitting his head in two. I found myself smiling as his blood hit my cheek. That would be one detail The Woodsman would recall for me. It would be one gruesome tale, for sure. I grabbed my shovel this time, deciding to bury the guy right there in the far corner of his back yard.
The next night I prepared my newest story for my listeners. Of course, The Woodsman was such a brilliant and descriptive storyteller. I complimented my listeners for sticking by me, and I ended the show in my usual way. “That is all for Solomon’s Vault of Creepy Terrors and remember to lock your doors, lock your windows and shut your blinds and close the closet doors you never know who may be lurking in the shadows.” In the case of the drunk guy, it was me.
I woke up the next day and felt alive and excited. I jammed out to music, yelling it in my car as I sped into work. My evil method of storytelling went on, and there was more than one victim now. Weeks and weeks went on, and I spun my tales to my audience; I even got to the point where I felt the Woodsman had completely taken over. He was the new star of “Solomon’s Vault of Creepy Terrors.”
I told each one of them and even left in specific details of truth like where they were buried, what they wore and how they were killed. There were also a few close calls when I thought my work had gotten sloppy. Still law enforcement never got involved. I mean no one had a clue and it helped most of The Woodsman’s victims were shady characters no one would miss.
I met a girl named Veronica on one of those stupid dating apps. It was a discreet dating app aimed at hooking up busy professionals. I was a very busy professional, even a prestigious man of mystery, now wasn’t I? I could barely keep up with all the stories. I now had the inspiration for a week, and it had been going on for nearly a year now.
Veronica had brown hair, olive skin, and dark brown eyes, and hot for me the moment we met. I had lied to her and given her a fake name so that she couldn’t contact me after tonight. I just wanted a hook-up and nothing more. It had been a bit of a dry spell in that department. That night she came up to me in the bar, recognizing me from the photo I had of myself online.
“Jason?” her voice was nervous as she looked up at me. I was a foot and a half taller than she was. I was 6ft tall, and most women I tended to date were about my height, but she was short, and I didn’t mind it; she was gorgeous.
“You must be Veronica then.” I took out my hand and placed it on hers and she shivered. She clearly thought I was good looking the way she smiled shyly up at me. It was almost too easy. I stood there in my suit looking very G.Q. and we took our seats at the table the hostess led us to. I made sure I made her feel like the only woman in the world so we chatted only about her. We talked very little about me which is how I wanted to keep it. I lied and had told her I was a small business owner.
She told me she was a secretary for a law firm. We got on very well and we seemed to be enjoying ourselves. I made sure I didn’t have more than 2 drinks but she had more, and eventually, we ended up in my apartment. I wasn’t worried as I had planned for this night all along. I hid any evidence of whom I was, and I made a mental note to delete my account with the sordid app the next morning. She was like putty in my hands, and I kissed and caressed her. I was the perfect lover.
As we finished our lovemaking, I looked down into her eyes and kissed her holding her neck with my right hand and lower back with my left. I moved my left hand up, slowly continuing in the massaging motions moving closer to her neck with my left hand. As I looked in her eyes, I thought to myself how easy this was going to be. I looked deep into her eyes; suddenly, with both hands on her throat, I began rubbing her neck softly and then growing more intensely with each stroke. Something in my overcame me, and I started touching her in a fastidious motion. I moved faster, and then I saw the panic in her eyes. She wanted to stop me, but I simply snapped her neck.
I had not planned to kill her. I only became overwhelmed by the desire to after I had satisfied my needs. She was perfect and would be my new muse for the latest tale from The Woodsman.
I wrapped her up in plastic and got rid of her body. As usual, I dug a bottomless hole and threw her and her stupid purse in with her. I destroyed her cell phone, and I tossed its pieces into a lake by a local park I ran through sometimes.
The Woodsman brought another story to his listeners, and this one was a lesson of meeting strangers online. I mean, nothing was ever what it seems. They all had lessons to be learned, whether it be the drunk guy who beat his wife or the guy who didn’t look both ways before crossing the street.
It was far from the beginning of my newly found confidence, and it was not long before I finally got the guts to ask Kim out on a date. The first date we went and got ice cream. The second we saw a movie and the third we made love on her sofa as her cat looked at us in what I can only figure must have been disgust.
She was sweet and caring, and I found myself falling for her pretty hard. Kim brought about such kindness in me, and I hoped someday to put my ways behind me. Pretty soon, I was almost the guy I was before The Woodsman had taken over.
I had given up caring about The Woodsman. I even told my listeners that he had not sent anything in a long time. I struggled to get rid of him as I found myself wanting to spend more and more time with Kim.
Eventually, the time had passed, and she met my family. I had not yet met hers, but she had not been close to her family growing up. She claimed they were dysfunctional and embarrassing. Her father was a drunk, and her mom died when she was in high school. She even had a younger sister she had not seen in years. She had been on and off drugs for years, and they had lost touch.
Kim and I had been dating for a long while when I had decided to tell Kim about my little podcast, “Solomon’s Creepy Vault of Terrors.” I wondered what she would think and if she would think I was this colossal nerd. I didn’t tell her how I got some of the stories. When I finally confessed to her about it and why there were all these laptops and extra equipment in my office, she laughed and said she would have to go back and listen to my older programs. We had a good laugh about it, and I even encouraged her to go back and look. Slowly I began to realize I wanted to leave that life behind me. I had started to think about my future, and I was almost 30. I wanted to take my life more seriously and give up my tales of terror. When I decided to marry Kim, I had also decided to retire from my podcast. I would let some other thirsty podcasters take my place.
I had left work early on a Friday, telling my boss I would be off Monday. I wanted Kim and me to go away for the weekend. Maybe stay at a Bed and Breakfast on the Lake and just enjoy one another’s company after I popped the question over dinner.
That night Kim came over to my apartment. She smiled and looked at me when I got on one knee she was overcome with emotion. Kim cried, and then we laughed, and we hugged. She was crying so hard that I looked down at her. Her face was a mess, and she had mascara running down her face. I laughed at her, amused that I had made her cry so hard.
I turned my back only for a second to grab a tissue from the counter, and suddenly I felt a stinging pain in my lower back. It burned, and I lost my balance and fell to the floor. When I looked to grab for Kim, I realized she was holding a large butcher knife in her hand, and I went to get up and saw her coming for me again. She stabbed me a second and a third time. I was helplessly unable to stand up. It was all happening so fast, and she must have hit a nerve when she stabbed me. The wound was buried, and there was blood everywhere. She finally stopped, and with tears welling up in her eyes, she bent down beside me, holding my face with her bloody hands.
“I love you so much, but you are a sick baby.” She kissed my forehead, and tears were welling up again in her eyes as were mine. I could not speak and was breathing heavily, holding on to my stomach, still confused when I noticed she was getting something out of her purse. She grabbed her cell phone, and I thought she would call 911 after nearly stabbing me to death. Instead, she opened it up to a photo of a girl pointing the phone in front of my face. I didn’t know who I was looking at, and my eyes were blurred with tears. The photo was of the girl I had killed standing in the same red dress I had last seen her in. I blinked hard, trying to focus, and I moved away from the photo pushing it away from my face. This was not happening.
“This is Julie. This is my sister. Last time I saw her, she was going on a date with some mystery guy-you! She gave you a fake name, Peter. What was the name she gave you?” she acted as though I could answer back I couldn’t speak. I was too stunned to utter a sound. “Veronica was the name she gave you, but that wasn’t her real name. I knew all about it, and we planned to have breakfast the next morning, but she never showed up. I thought maybe she forgot, but she was missing for days. I was afraid she had started using drugs again.” She tearfully choked on her own words. “This isn’t revenge; you are just an animal that needs put down. I love you too much to let you live like this. I have loved you since we first met that day at the firm, and when you finally asked me out, I was so happy. Only I didn’t realize you were ill, and no doctor could ever help someone like you.” I was bewildered and barely hanging on for life. I was soon going to be blacking out from the loss of blood. I was still confused about how she knew, but she continued her story, sobbing in between breaths.
“That night you told me you were that guy reading those stupid stories, I listened to some of your old podcasts. That is when I knew what you had done. The way you described the tale of the Girl in the Red Dress, was that the name? You talked about how she looked all the way down to what she had on and how she smelled. I knew then you were the one that hurt her. I don’t know how I knew, but I just knew, and you were hurting all those other people. They weren’t just stories, were they? I had to stop you so you couldn’t hurt anyone else.”
I wasn’t sorry till now, and tears fell suddenly from my face. I felt ashamed, and I was invincible until this very moment. Kim sat next to me and held my hand, and I didn’t even bother to push her away. I didn’t want to die alone as insane as this all was. I loved her, and I knew I deserved my punishment, but I tightly held her hand, closing my eyes till I saw nothing but black. I am not sure how much time passed, but I awoke alone lying on my kitchen floor in a dried blood pool. How was I still here? I couldn’t feel my legs, but I managed to crawl to my desk where my recording mic was. I was bleeding fast, and instead of dialing 911, I knew I’d be dead before the ambulance came, so why not one last story before I went. I’d record this just for you, my loyal fans. Maybe someone will find this recording and broadcast it at some point on my behalf.
I can hear you now thinking Kim will get in trouble for her crime, because here I am confessing it all to the world, and she doesn’t deserve that. It is okay, though, because Kim isn’t her real name, anyhow. You still believe I am Pete from Poughkeepsie. Perhaps this is just a tale to warn you about the downside of greed.
Like I have been saying, nothing is ever what it seems. But don’t fear there is a lesson to be learned as I lay here ready to find me. Can you guess what it is? Well, if not, you soon will.
The Woodsman taught me how to be who I was meant to be. What will he teach you? I bid you goodbye one last time as I lay here waiting on my new life on the other side of the door. I can hear voices just down the hall coming for me.
Well, guys, this has been the final episode of Solomon’s Creepy Vault of Terrors. Remember to lock your doors, lock your windows, and close your blinds and closet doors you never know what is waiting in the shadows…